Thursday, September 25, 2008

Non-Profit Law Firm Helps 84-Year Old Foreclosed Woman Illegally Locked Out Of Home Temporarily Regain Possession Of Premises

In Visalia, California, The Fresno Bee reports:
  • Floy Mae Bryant, 84, returned Tuesday to the home she lost in foreclosure, but this time she had a lawyer and a locksmith in tow. The locksmith attacked the door locks and, for the first time since May, Bryant stepped inside her home [...] in Visalia.

  • "It feels like home. I love it," the retired phone company operator said as she looked around at bare walls and carpet. Then she started to cry. "It's been hard, just hard." In reality, though, it's not her home anymore. It belongs to the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), which took legal ownership in April after Bryant fell behind on her house payments and the home was foreclosed on. But now, on the advice of her lawyers, she is moving back in.

  • "It forces their hand a little more" said lawyer Suzanne Swenk from Central California Legal Services, which is assisting Senior Legal Hotline of Sacramento. Swenk said the home was sold out from under Bryant to Fannie Mae in April, and in May the locks were changed by a real estate agent before Bryant had fully moved out. That's illegal, Swenk said. No proper legal paperwork was obtained to require her to move, she said.

  • Swenk is negotiating with Fannie Mae to let Bryant have the home back on terms she can afford, which would include Fannie Mae getting $185,000, but less than the full amount owed. "We're hoping they help her," Swenk said. "The sole purpose of Fannie Mae is to help homeowners."

For more, see Visalia woman retakes home (Foreclosed upon and locked out, senior citizen fights back).

See also, KFSN-TV Channel 30: Visalia Woman's Mortgage Lending Nightmare.

Go here for other posts on foreclosure screw ups involving improperly changed locks, removal of belongings, etc. ForeclosureLockOuts